The National Pecan Federation, made up of several regional pecan organizations in the US, is the industry’s representation in Washington DC. The need for a voice in Washington became clear several years back as we quickly realized the limitations of the American Pecan Council along with the need to be represented at the table when policy decisions were being made in Washington.
Growers and shellers came together, quickly formed the National Pecan Federation and managed to land the esteemed Redding Firm “A Capitol Hill governmental affairs firm” for representation and guidance through the political landscape.
Since its inception the National Pecan Federation, under the guidance of the Redding Firm, has been able to accomplish a multitude of beneficial tasks for the pecan industry. From helping growers receive millions of dollars to help offset hurricane damage, trade war tariff mitigation funds, industry participation in Covid-19 funds, to accessing research dollars for pecan breeding, and pecan cracking and pasteurization just to name a few.
The National Pecan Federation has accomplished quite a lot with its minimal budget and continues to work on important issues for the pecan industry. One of the major issues the NPF has been working on for several years now, is the unusually high tariffs on pecans entering the country of India.
With a little over 1/5th of the world’s population (est. – 1.4 billion – Dec-2021), and the fastest growing middle class in the world, India is a very attractive market for pecans. However, the tariff for pecans entering India is significantly higher than the tariffs on other nuts, and the National Pecan Federation has made this issue a priority.
Seeking to have the exceptionally high tariff lowered to compare with other nuts, the National Pecan Federation has recently again reached out to Representative Sanford Bishop of Georgia for help, and Mr. Bishop has responded. Representative Bishop’s office recently sent a letter to Ambassador Katherine Tai of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, requesting that ambassador Tai address these tariffs for the pecan industry and request that they be lowered similarly to that of the tariffs of other nuts entering India.
Ambassador Katherine Tai responded with “In my discussions with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Goyal, we have agreed to work constructively to resolve outstanding bilateral trade irritants – including agricultural issues. As we reengage with India through the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, market access – including tariffs, MFN rates, and non-tariff barriers to trade – remains a priority for USTR.” – This is an excerpt from the letter to Representative Bishop. The full conversation can be read by clicking the links below.
This is good news for pecan growers. As India’s middle class grows, the number of middle class citizens in India is now larger than the entire population of the United States of America. When the trade barrier is reduced, only a small interest in pecans in the Indian market could mean much bigger demand for American pecans.